The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered a landslide defeat to its rival Kuomintang (KMT) in Taiwan's "legislature" elections Saturday.
The KMT won 81 of the 113 seats in the elections, beating the DPP which got 27 seats.
Two seats went to the New Party. The People First Party, the Taiwan Solidarity Union and a candidate without party affiliation each took one seat, according to the ballot counting authority.
Chen Shui-bian announced later in the evening that he resigned his post as DPP chairman to take responsibility for what he termed the most disastrous defeat since the DPP was founded.
Two referendums tied to the election, one against corruption and the other demanding the KMT to return what was said to be assets illegally obtained from the people, were announced invalid, as the voters' turnout rate did not reach 50 percent.
Nearly 300 candidates are competing for the legislative seats in more than 70 precincts across the island.
The voting progressed smoothly between 8:00 and 16:00 in more than 14,400 polling stations across the island. About 58 percent of the registered voters turned out to cast their ballots.
But in Nantou County, a polling station was short of more than 400 ballots and several cases concerning the violation of voting rules were reported in some parts of Taiwan.
Voters cast two ballots for the first time in the election history -- one for a specific "legislator" candidate in their precinct and the other for the party of their choice. Some "legislators" will be chosen by the parties in accordance with the percentage of votes they got.
Taiwan's "legislature", called "legislative Yuan," was streamlined this year from 225 seats to 113 in an effort to improve efficiency.
(Xinhua News Agency January 13, 2008)